GURBANGULY BERDIMUHAMEDOV, President of Turkmenistan, said that the effectiveness of international cooperation will depend on whether States can find a common denominator between national interests and global goals and priorities. International efforts to combat COVID-19 and its economic impact are insufficient. Only through unity among Member States and the United Nations system will it be possible to combat a common threat, he said, proposing that the Assembly, during its new session, consider the role of the WHO and the establishment of a Central Asia regional centre for epidemiology, virology and bacteriology. Efforts must also be made to strengthen the international transport system in the face of emergencies, he said.
He invited Member States to participate in an international conference in December, hosted by his country, on the theme “The policy of peace and trust is the foundation of international security, stability and development”. During the Assembly’s current session, Turkmenistan will present a draft resolution on strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in Central Asia. He also reiterated his country’s proposal to create a zone of peace, trust and cooperation in the Central Asia and Caspian region as a platform to strengthen multilateral cooperation for global peace and development.
The situation in Afghanistan is not easy, he said, stressing the need for consistency, balance and responsibility when responding to developments in that country. Afghan realities have changed and ideological preferences, old grievances, phobias and stereotypes should be discarded. Turkmenistan calls for a speedy normalization of the situation in Afghanistan, with the emerging State institutions working for the benefit of all Afghan people. He added that his country will continue to provide economic and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, including the completion of ongoing energy, transportation and communication projects. “The readiness of Turkmenistan as a neighbouring and neutral State to promote the establishment of appropriate contacts and the creation of conditions for the early establishment of peace, harmony and unity in Afghanistan remains unchanged,” he said.
He stressed that effective collaboration on sustainable development at the global, regional and national level is a major priority. Turkmenistan looks forward to continuing broad dialogue on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. An international conference on development financing ought to be organized very soon. During the Assembly’s new session, Turkmenistan and its partners will work towards establishing a United Nations special programme for the Aral Sea basin that would help mitigate the consequences of an ecological catastrophe in that area. Turning to humanitarian issues, he said that his country will promote strengthening the role of the Commission for Social Development to develop coordinated responses to such issues as social protection, youth affairs and strengthening the role of the family. It also stands ready to contribute to resolving migration issues. He concluded by saying that Turkmenistan’s partnership with the United Nations remains a strategic priority and the foundation of all its efforts in the international arena.